Tampa Bay @ KANSAS CITY
KANSAS CITY -104 over Tampa Bay

Pinnacle -104 BET365 -110 SportsInteraction -110 BetOnline -106 Bookmaker -110

Posted at 12:00 PM EST. 

KANSAS CITY -104 over Tampa Bay

8:10 PM EST. Michael Wacha (RHP - TAM) has worked his way around some control issues to post some pretty good numbers through three starts. He’s fanned 12 batters per nine on the strength of a 16.9% swing & miss rate thus far but we’re not betting it lasts. You see, his line-drive rate is 35% and that means if the batters are’t striking out, they are making some serious hard contact. Wacha’s line-drive rate last game was 56% so what we’re seeing is a dude that walks people and gives up line drives in droves.

Jakob Junis (RHP - KC) was dominating during his three spring training appearances (10/0 K/BB in 7 IP). He carried that forward to his first start of 2021 (6/2 K/BB in 5 IP) and beyond. His sub-indicators have been solid too (12.1% swing & miss, 36% ball%). Overall, Junis has walked three and struck out 15 in 12 innings and he’ll now face a Rays’ squad that belted out 14 runs last night en route to their fifth straight win.

The point is that the Rays are hot and well regarded while the Royals are not hot and not well-regarded. That leaves us questioning the extremely enticing price on the Rays and after strong consideration, we’re left with a ticket on the Royals because the books are begging us to do otherwise.

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KANSAS CITY -104 (Risking 2.08 units - To Win: 2.00)

San Francisco @ PHILADELPHIA
San Francisco +110 over PHILADELPHIA

Pinnacle +110 BET365 +105 SportsInteraction +105 BetOnline +111 Bookmaker +105

Posted at 12:30 PM EST. 

San Francisco +110 over PHILADELPHIA

Anthony DeSclafani (RHP - SF) has been solid through three turns. Current Philadelphia bats own a .638 OPS, .090 ISO (Isolated Power) against him. A sneaky-decent play with the Phillies being in a high-whiff mode early on, not to mention a very good road option more often than not over his career (3.91 ERA, .691 oOPS). The Giants are having the time of their lives right now while the Phillies continue to struggle to win games under the weight of expectations.

Zach Eflin’s stock is high after posting a 3.15 ERA after three starts to go along with just two walks issued and 16 K’s in 20 innings. Not bad, not bad at all. After a few years as a popular sleeper, Eflin finally filled the role, posting solid results last year and continuing to perform well this year. Emphasizing his excellent sinker over his "meh" four-seam has led to multiple career-best skills, but his swing & miss rate of 11.9% doesn't fully support the strikeouts, and lefties are still hammering him. Small sample warning definitely applies, but 2020 xERA says he's ready to be a steady #3 or $4 and not a #2. Regression is coming.

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San Francisco +110 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.20)

Baltimore @ MIAMI
Baltimore +140 over MIAMI

Pinnacle +139 BET365 +140 SportsInteraction +140 BetOnline +138 Bookmaker +140

Posted at 12:00 PM EST. 

Baltimore +130 over MIAMI

1:10 PM EST. Trevor Rogers (LHP - MIA) is good but the cat is out of the bag after posting a 2.40 ERA after three starts to go along with 23 K’s in 15 frames. We discussed Rogers very early in the year when he and the Fish were taking back +269 against Jacob deGrom and the Mets and then +149 again against the Braves. Rogers threw a gem in both games but the bullpen blew the latter in a game the Braves won, 7-6. We often discuss being “ahead of the curve”, which is precisely where we stood when we got behind Rogers early and now we’re ahead of the curve again in selling him here when the rest of the market is buying.

We’ve seen Rogers blow up before. 13 of his earned runs last season came in seven innings across two of his seven starts. That tanked his ERA and WHIP but there are more games like that on the horizon. You see, Rogers has a 50% first-pitch strike rate and a troubling 29%/50% groundball/fly-ball split. Combine walks with inevitable jacks allowed because his fly-ball rate is so high and the occasional blow-up is inevitable. Trevor Rogers now goes from a seriously significant underdog to a significant favorite and it is therefore the correct time to jump ship.

Bruce Zimmermann (LHP - BAL) is still flying under the radar, because he hasn’t done anything spectacular and probably won’t but like Rogers before him, we’re ahead of the curve on this lefty too.

Zimmerman is quietly putting up really impactful command sub-indicators (12.0% swing & miss rate 27% ball%, 65% first-pitch strike rate). They support significant gains in his overall skills and make him and the Orioles very worthy today taking back such a sweet overlay.

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Baltimore +140 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.80)

Toronto @ BOSTON
Toronto +117 over BOSTON

Pinnacle +117 BET365 +110 SportsInteraction +110 BetOnline +116 Bookmaker +110

Posted at 12:30 PM EST. 

Toronto +117 over BOSTON

7:10 PM EST.  Trent Thornton (RHP - TOR) makes his rotation season debut after throwing eight innings over five games in relief. Thornton established himself pretty clearly in the minors as a control-oriented, low-to-average strikeout pitcher, so it has been very odd to see him struggle with walks while piling up strikeouts in the majors. That was last year. His subpar first-pitch strike rate suggests the control problems have been legitimate, while his below-average swing & miss rate gives another indication that his current K-rate probably won't last. There has been some debate over whether the 25-year-old Thornton will be a better long-term fit for the rotation or the bullpen but that’s a discussion for another time.

This wager is about fading Garrett Richards (RHP - BOS) at what seems like a reasonably small and enticing price. Richards has made three starts and the signs are not encouraging. Now six years removed from his last 100+ IP season, Richards is struggling with everything. His swing & miss rate is below average at 9.6%. His groundball/fly-ball split is dead even at 40%/40%. Dude has zero quality starts in three tries and it’s a stretch to expect him to go more than four or five innings. What we know for sure is that the bullpens will be involved and in regard, Toronto’s pen has been dealing it so let’s call the starting pitching a wash, then give an edge to the Blue Jays bats and bullpen and then pull the trigger.

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Our Pick

Toronto +117 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.34)

RangeWLP+/- (Units)
Yesterday210.00+2.92
Last 30 Days23270.00+5.52
Season to Date23270.00+5.52
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